By Sam Salazar | October 24, 2021
Last year’s SA was a complete mess. From a dysfunctional senate, inadequate leaders, and a delayed budget, the future looked bleak. Through the ashes, however, qualified leaders emerged and a more powerful SA came back. President Goudiaby, Vice-President Williams, Comptroller Donelan, Chairman Chin, Vice Chairwoman Tulsiani, and Chief Justice Boutin all go above and beyond for one simple reason: they care. I can confidently say that these leaders care about students and their concerns. They will always put you first and deliver exceptional professionalism.
With these qualities, you might expect that SA would be undergoing a renaissance right now, but it’s clear that the renaissance has been delayed. From not electing a vice-chair, to delayed student funding and the prospects of infighting, where is the peace we were promised at the end of Spring 2021? Well, to be frank, it’s not here because of leadership but by a small group of individuals who are zealous in accomplishing their obstructionist goals.
In the spring of 2021, then Chairman Ramsaran ran against now President Goudiaby. The election was one of the nastiest in SA history which ultimately resulted in the disqualification of Ramsaran for illegal campaign activity. After the loss of Ramsaran, many of his supporters and ticket either lost or remained in the senate. Those that remained expressed their hatred towards the new administration through obstructionist tactics such as yelling after elections in senate meetings and overtly untrue criticism.
But perhaps the most egregious thing was an attempt by these individuals to sink SA down by blocking President Goudibay’s transition. These individuals engaged in what the SA supreme court called an “unconstitutional” move that would have given the Presidency to Ramsaran and his supporters. Those that lost planned their return during the fall election of 2021. Some of those who recently won re-election have been the ones to return the senate into chaos. For example, there are a group of senators who have wasted valuable time weaponizing senate rules for their gain. The most recent example of this was the senate failure of passing Kayla Cooper as Appropriations Chairwoman. Additionally, the debate around these types of things has been nothing but productive. During the Vice-Chair election, the conversation by these obstructionists centered on constructing a well-qualified candidate to put their zealous and hatred-filled ideology at the table.
While my goal is not to name people in this article, I did want to offer the student body my opinion on what needs to happen. Whenever there’s trash rotting in your room you have to go and take it out. The same thing applies here. Since there are senators who get excited about becoming obstructionists, they must go. SA cannot waste any more time infighting. We are all over it. Whether it is recall, impeachment, or simple resignation, the obstructionists need to leave SA for the good of the Student Body. While I am not advocating for a single dominant “party” to take over, I am advocating for constructive critics to join SA and focus on dialogue that is conducive for public discourse. If SA can successfully remove obstructionists then I believe we will see the SA everyone at UA wants to see.
We want an SA that focuses time on good ticket software, sending money to student groups to go to competitions, and improving the quality of life on campus, not trying to launch an investigation because of your ego. It’s time for the renaissance now!